Families and Schools Together (FAST)
Families and Schools Together (FAST) is a school and community-based mental health team that works with students ages 6 to 18. Students are referred to FAST by teachers, school counselors and staff within specific community sites. Team members meet weekly with students at their schools/community sites to address a variety of problems such as:
- Grief issues
- Disruptive behaviors
Services are provided in English and Spanish on-site at the schools and in the community by a team of clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists and psychologists. Services include:
- Individual and family therapy
- Psychiatric consultation (M.D.)
- Case management
- Teacher consultations
- Parent education topic workshops
- Attending school and community meetings
- Enhancing students' ability to reach their full academic potential by meeting their emotional, social and mental health needs
- Strengthening students and their families' problem-solving and communication skills
- Empowering parents to advocate for their children's educational needs
- Building students effective social emotional and interpersonal skills
- Improving overall coping and problem-solving
FAST is unique in that the team goes beyond the walls of the center, making mental health services accessible to children and families in the community.
Because FAST provides treatment on-site at the school, clinicians are able to consult and collaborate with school personnel in order to obtain a greater understanding of the students' needs. In addition, FAST team members can provide teacher consultations to assist teachers in making appropriate accommodations for students in the classroom.
FAST believes that parent involvement is crucial to the success of treatment. Parents are the experts when it comes to their children; therefore, FAST team members take a family systems approach by providing family and collateral therapy.
Fees and Funding Sources
The cost of services may be met through Medi-Cal. Funding is also available for families with no insurance.
Funding sources for the Providence Saint John's Child and Family Development Center include the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Department of Children and Family Services, City of Santa Monica and private donations.